56: University of Louisville asks Adult Students for a Second Chance

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Matt Bergman, Assistant Professor at University of Louisville, discusses why when it comes to recruiting adult students, rather than giving them another chance to earn their degree, we need to ask them to give us another chance.

You're listening to enroment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to anroman growthuniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, Imari,Golson AVP of marketing, OT, helics education and we're here today withDoctor Mattbergmann Assistant, Professor, a University of LouisvilleMatt. Welcome the show, thanks for having me, really excited to have youand talk with you today about how institutions need to, rather thangiving adult students a second chance e need to ask abult students to give us asecond chance, but before we dig into that, Mat can youve the listeners alittle bit better understanding of both the University of Louisvilleandiar rulethere.

So at the University of Louisville, Iwork with a specific adult degree. Completion Program called a Bachelor ofScience and organization leadership, very typical of larger universities andmore traditional institutions offering a general business. ORGANIZATIONAleadership, interdiscipinary studies, General Studies, type degree thatreally carves out of space for a traditional institution to serve adultstudents very well, despite the fact that they're very large in scope,serving eighteen to roughly seven yearolds, really excited to talk aboutthis topic with you today when it comes to recruiting adult students ratherthan giving adult students a second chance of their college. Experiencehelp us understand why you think we need to ask adult students to give us asecond chance with adults. They have done so much within the work worldoftentimes when they come back. They come with a specific set of baggage,and if we can kind of unpack that...

...baggage that we can have individuals inour classrooms that make them so unbelievably better because of thecontext that they bring to the academic setting, they might not be perfectlysituated to write an APA paper, but when, given the tools they can plugback in and they can be the best students that you can possibly have asa professor now, you are recently a panalist in a discussion about adultstudents at the Education Commission of States. National Form and titled TwentySeven is the new eighteen. Can you talk about why high red needs to focus onmaking ourselves more accessible to the adult learner population? Well, onespecific and very pragmatic reason is the demographic cliff that we're facingand then that, roughly next ten years, the birth rate has basically created asituation where we're not going to have as many high school graduates fillingthe pipelines of our higher education institutions. Subsequently, we have tolook at other avenues to make sure that...

...we maintain enrolments at a broad arrayof institutions. Now this may not impact it will not impact he very highlevel elite institutions. However, within the midlevel and the lower levelinstitutions that are struggling for tuition revenue, they are going to haveto seek different avenues to fill their pipe ones, and that is truly essentialthat we look at adults as this possibility, because there are roughlythirty six million adults with some college and o degree- and I repeat,thirty- six million. That is so many individuals that we could draw from tohelp them finish what they started last year for long ago. Mat manyinstitutions have some sort of prior learning. Assessment plays to offercourse, credit for past work and life experiences talk about how importantthat is and how this PLA program works. At the University of Louisville at theUniversity of Lewill, we offer priorlyng assassments similar to thatof many institutions across the United...

States. You wouldn't think that manyinstitutions offer this college credit for work related experiential learning,but it is very rampant within both traditional and more adult focusedinstitutions. There are leaders in this industry, including Thomas Edenson,State University and University of Phoenix University of Louiville doesreally Great Job University of Memphis, and there are many many more, but weare trying to find ways to make this more standard, and there arespecifically four reasons. I think this makes sense for universities toconsider PLA and number one is. It is empirically proven that students canget to graduation at a greater pace and a greater graduation rate when givenaccess to PLA, so someone that comes in from the outside working full time forten plus years can produce and compile a portfolio and get college credit thatwill increase their pace to graduation...

...in actually their graduation rightnumber two. When they do this process, they are more engaged in the academicsetting so think about it. If you've been away for a long time, you get anopportunity to write about your experiential learning that happens on adaily basis and has translated into college credit, you're more likely,engaged and happy to be a college student again. Number three is studentson average, take nine point: nine credits more than those that don't haveaccess to PLA. Now that sounds incredibly counterantutive, because whywould you say a person's getting college credit for what they've learnedout an so out in the workplace and then they are taking more college credit?Well, the rettention rate in the persistent rates of adult students thisso much lower than traditional age, students that, when given anopportunity to access PLA, they are actually persisting at at high rate,thus generating more college credits.

So it flies in the face of many folksthat are naysayers, suggesting that you cannot give away college credits well,we're not, and people are actually taking more college credits in the end.And finally, the one of the most imimportant pieces for faculty to knowis: This is not going to generally impact the discipline. So what I meanby that is these are not towards a specific major. They are generallytowards elective base credit and maybe a general education class, and maybe amajor class or two but t is not going to impact the major and take away fromwhat our faculty are actually normally teaching these individuals mat. Next,let's talk about course, scheduling for the parttime adult student. Looking tobalance family work school. What can institutions do to make it easier foradults to complete their degree faster well, at Complete College Americathey've done a lot of work that...

...suggests that fifteen to finish is theway, and it is empurically proven that the research shows that, when a personan roles full time, they are more likely to graduate, and that soundswonderful, but with adults it doesn't necessarily work. My friends at CCA,along with Sarah Ansel. She really has laid this out so well to me that wehave started at the University of Loubille to rethink how we offerclasses and the way we attack. This is by offering eight week semester oreight week sessions, and it works out so well with the academic semestercalendar that we end up getting close to twenty four twenty seven hours inthe one year. Time frame now that fifteen, to finish we're not quite atthirty, but we're really dark close, because when we think about a semestercalendar you start in August, then you have another class in October, then youhave a winter session class than a two...

...in the spring and two anor three in thesummer, and you are absolutely tearing up some credit hours towards yourdegree, you're, making very efficient progress towards towards graduation man.What are some other strategies? You're, seeing working at other colleges, Nuniversities to better cater to working adults? Obviously, when you think about workingwith adults having after our services, student services, academic services isa real key in all of this. When we think about the eight to five. If aperson is a working adult and they're on that first shift traditionalschedule, it is impossible for them to come into the BURSAR or the registarsoffice or the admissions office whetever around campus. It is nearimpossible for those individuals to come in during the day, so a key elmentof many adult programs is to have, after our opportunities for them toconnect with the institution. When those services are in place alongsidean efficient and convenient flexible...

...schedule, they don't necessarily adults,don't necessarily have as good an excuse not to come back and finish whatthey started. Mat really good stuff, any next teps advice for institutionswho are listening to this understanding that they need to make it a criticalfocus of their operations. To focus on this new traditional student, the adultstudent and they're, looking to figure out ways to better support, O Tholearners on their return to degree ith completion wel. I think there are somany individuals and professional organizations connecting in this spherenow so places like the graduate network. So if you are part of a graduateNETFORK network community connect with them because they can funnel studentsinto your institution when they know that you offer adult learner friendlypractices. The counsel and adult experiential learning works with clapand DSST, as well as prior learning assessment, and they do a lot ofresearch on that with strata and Lumina...

...as well, and then the Complete CollegeAmerica Group is outabsolutely outstanding. So I think there are somany resources for institutions now to plug into and look at best practices aswell as seek gudense and support to get into this game of supporting adultsthat a better clip, but I think traditional institutions are startingto get there. It's taken a while, but we have really been pushed by the fourprofit sector to get our stuff together as institutions, traditionalinstitutions, to serve these adults in a better manner, because the forprofits did such a good job at recruiting these folks and offering agood deal for them. Maybe they didn't deliver on the retention as well.That's where O r traditional institutions could very well pick upthat slack and incorporate some of those recruiting practices to make thetransition seamless and convenient for someone that is trying to balance areally...

...robust competing responsibilities. Typeof life mat really great. Stop thanks. So much for your time today, what's thebest place for listeners to connect with you if they have any followequestions, you can find me at on twinter at Matbergman one. You can findme at the University of Lowwille at Matt Dot Bergman at Louville. Dat Eduhit me up on facebook linkedin wherever you what I'm happy to connect, and Ilove working with adults. So, if you're, an adult with some college in a degreewe'll find a place for you, whether it's at the University of Lousville orsomewhere else or if you're, an academic professional connect with meand let's talk about adults, we need to serve this group. There are thirty sixmillion people with some college no degree. If we can, we can somehow takea piece of bite out of that group. We can have a more educated citizenry andwe will have a very prosperous economy if we get more people, graduated, Heyman thanks again so much for joining us today. TMAT all right appreciate itstime attracting today's new post,...

...traditional learners, means adoptingnew enrolmant strategies. Keeloks educations data driven enterprise, wideapproach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges anduniversities thrive in this new education, landscape and Helox has justpublished the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook, with fiftypercent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's mostpressing enromant growth challenges download it today for free at Helocks,Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromentgrowth university from helics education to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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